New mystery novel thrills fans, comes to big screen


Shelby Foster

Rachel Watson, a jobless, alcoholic, becomes involved in the mystery of a missing woman she saw almost everyday while riding the train. This book, written by Paula Hawkins, is commonly compared to the New York times bestseller ¨Gone Girl¨ by Gillian Flynn.

Dana Gould, Staff Writer

Mystery novels usually stir up images of fancy detectives holding a magnifying glass or a sassy, cunning detective that always gets away with bossing others around. That detective usually has an almost inhuman skill that allows them to solve mysteries with complete accuracy. “The Girl on the Train” sheds a much different light on the classic mystery as the detective in this case is far from inhuman.

Every morning Rachel Watson rides on the 8:04 train from Ashbury to Euston to a job she no longer has. Every evening she rides on the 5:56 train from Euston back to Ashbury where she will most likely drink the night away.

Rachel watches the people on the streets as she rolls by on the train two times a day, creating stories and lives for them. Stories of love and happiness that remind her of her past life, a life in which she actually felt content.

Her current life looks much differently as she lost her love, her job, and her happiness all at once and was left a shell of the woman she once was. Haunted by memories of her past life, her current depression, and drinking problems, Rachel must figure out how to finally move on.

Instead of deciding to improve her current situation and forget her past, Rachel becomes intrigued by the actual story of one of the women she sees almost everyday on the train rides to and from Euston. This woman she often sees from the train window has suddenly gone missing.

[W]hatever happens next comes as a surprise to both the characters and the person reading it.

— Staff Writer Dana Gould

Rachel  desperately wants to learn more about this woman’s  life and history. As she learns more, Rachel becomes entangled with the story, what actually happened, and who is responsible. She tries to uncover the truth about the strange disappearance and convince the police that she is more than some pathetic alcoholic trying to feel important.

This thrilling novel provides people with a relatively quick read that is impossible to set down. The author continues to add information about the characters and situation as vaguely and inconspicuously as possible. There are many times throughout the novel the characters in the story receive the new information at the same time as the person reading the book. This way whatever happens next comes as a surprise to both the characters and the person reading it.

There are many cases throughout the story in which Rachel pursues people connected to the disappearance or searches the internet or television in order to find out more information on the situation. As Rachel receives more information, the author provides small details that slowly build the full story and eventually reveal the truth about the mysterious disappearance.

While Rachel seeks out people that either knew the missing person or are somehow involved in the situation, there are moments in which it is difficult to tell whether Rachel is helping or causing more damage. This problem arises multiple times because no one actually asked her to investigate anything.

The story is told from multiple perspectives to present important details through multiple people and show the connection between them. This technique provides the reader with different opinions on certain events or circumstances while also ensuring that someone is unable to piece everything together until the end of the novel.

Overall this proved to be an amazing book as every portion of the story works together in complete harmony. The plot is intriguing, the characters are well-developed, and the writing style is straightforward yet mysterious. The fans of mystery novels will love this new take on a beloved classic because it includes many characteristics of typical mysteries while also providing a modern perspective.

Although this is a great book, it is not for people who have problems with profanity, excessive violence, and sexual situations. This book is a worthwhile read that would leave anyone feeling shocked and wondering what happens next. ¨The Girl on the Train” provides people with a unique, well-written novel that will not be easily forgotten. This has been made into a major motion picture that came out in theaters on Oct. 7.